On a sunny summer's day I decided to jump on my bike and cycle down to Docklands to compile a visual essay of the construction progress and future developments occurring down at the docks. As the lead image accompanying this article illustrates, development is creeping ever closer to the Bolte Bridge with possibly a decade's worth of construction remaining for the area before it is considered 'complete'.
Beyond this however, the area will no doubt continue to evolve just as the rest of Melbourne has over the last 150+ years. Docklands has copped a lot of criticism and it still has some way to go but I really enjoyed cycling down there and walking around watching the people down there go about there everyday business as you would anywhere else.
NewQuay currently has four towers under construction within two separate developments by MAB and Hiap Hoe. Hiap Hoe's 43-storey Marina Tower will deliver 461 dwellings in addition to a Four Points by Sheraton hotel with 261 rooms and is being built by Probuild. MAB's Aqui and Promenade are further progressed with Hickory the head contractor delivering the silver and bronze towers.
Under Construction: Marina Tower and NewQuay Promenade
Future: Banksia and Elm & Stone
Sales for MAB's Banksia development - which will occupy the former Waterfront City Plaza and includes a new park - have been strong with the project due to begin construction this year. The McBride Charles Ryan designed tower will complete the NewQuay Central component of NewQuay. A further residential development by DKO called Elm & Stone is due to be launched soon. This will be followed by another residential project along Docklands Drive designed by Six Degrees.
Following a succession of low-rise commercial and soho buildings, development at Digital Harbour has largely dried up with construction of The Altus being delayed for nearly two years. With sub contractors signing on to the project we may eventually see some activity on the site in 2016.
The site of 1000 La Trobe Street (also known as the Millennium Site) exchanged hands recently with Digital Harbour Holdings selling the site with a Woods Bagot designed residential scheme to China Poly Group. The new owners are seeking to develop in excess of 600 units on the site. This is a far cry from the early vision for the site as a hub of innovation.
Future: The Altus and 1000 La Trobe Street
Lend Lease's Victoria Harbour is racing ahead with Concavo completed late last year and 888 Collins Street topping out. Meanwhile the four tower development at 839-889 Collins Street is at various stages of construction with one podium well underway and the second just out of the ground. All up these developments will inject over 1,500 apartments into the area.
Under Construction: 888 Collins Street and 839-889 Collins Street
Future: 909 Collins Street and Y3
Beyond the current scope of works Lend Lease has plans for further developments at Victoria Harbour with the 909 Collins Street Apartment building and a hotel and commercial development on the Y3 site that was to see a 21-storey office tower designed by DCM. A wharf-style low-rise residential development rumoured to be built out of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) will occupy the western end of Victoria Harbour's peninsula.
With Capital Alliance's Peppers Hotel effectively completing the north-east corner of the Stadium precinct, there now remain only two undeveloped sites; 685 and 695 La Trobe Street. The former was sold with a permit for a commercial development but will now see dual residential towers by Peddle Thorp, while the latter gained approval last year for a 27-storey Fender Katsalidis scheme comprising 383 dwellings.
Future: 685 and 695 La Trobe Street
The largest development currently underway within Batmans Hill is Walker Corp's Collins Square project. With three buildings already completed thus far a further three are at various stages of construction. The tallest of these - which will eventually accommodate KPMG's offices - topped out late last year and it's distinctive faceted 'lantern' is now visible from all over the city.
The Link Market building is not far behind with the core now level with the neighbouring ATO building. The fifth tower has also begun its skyward ascent and when complete will boast a curved sloping form with a sweeping 'cut' through it.
Under Construction: Collins Square
Future: Melbourne Quarter
Set to begin just as Collins Square begins to wind down is Lend Lease's Melbourne Quarter mixed-use development. The project is split into a Collins Street neighbourhood of 4 commercial buildings and a Flinders Street neighbourhood of 3 residential buildings surrounding new open spaces atop a deck spanning over Wurundjeri Way.
Mirvac's Yarra's Edge development is the furthest progressed towards the Bolte Bridge with the Wharf's Entrance component of the project providing the western bookend to the project. Forge apartments and the Wharf's Entrance Wharf and Cargo residences are currently under construction with work progressing on the tower proper and the first rows of glazing being installed on the facade. The 30-storey tower will eventually accommodate 229 apartments.
Under Construction: Wharf's Entrance and Forge
Future: Voyager and Tower 11 and Tower 8
The 43-storey bronze tower comprising 316 apartments would be the tallest tower at Yarra's Edge and the 9th overall if approved. A 10th west of Voyager will be the last in procession however and 11th tower known as Tower 8 will be the final residential tower for Mirvac at Yarra's Edge and is rumoured to be the tallest at around 50-storeys.
Ashe Morgan's Harbour Town refurbishment program is well underway with the ETFE canopy by the Buchan Group nearly complete. A Hoyts eight screen cinema is also on the cards for the centre.
Under Construction: Harbour Town
Future: 26-38 Pearl River Road and Marriot Docklands
A dual tower development comprising a 29 and 19-storey towers in addition to a 37-storey Marriot hotel at 3-43 Waterfront Way to be delivered by Capital Alliance with architecture by DKO.
Developer Riverlee is proposing a $250 million-plus waterfront residential and retail development for North Wharf. Designed by Fender Katsalidis, the development will also involve refurbishment of the historic wharf and goods shed at the western end of the precinct.
So that's the round up for Docklands. I'll be updating the Docklands component of my Melbourne 3D model in the coming weeks.